If you have several layers in your InDesign document, and wish to work with no visual distraction on only one layer, you can turn all the others off quickly by holding down the Option key and clicking the eye icon of the layer you wish to keep visible in the Layers panel. I’ve used this same tip in Photoshop for quite a while, and finally realized it worked in InDesign as well. If you make use of layers, it’s quite handy!
A handy little feature of Mac OS X Lion is the ability to quickly organize your files.
My first problem is that I get a lot of email. My second problem is that I check my email throughout the day on my iPhone. And my third problem is that I often wish to delete emails without even reading them (thanks to spammers with no grasp of the English language, and horrible PR firms who can’t target the proper sites for their stories in the subject line).
Thankfully Apple has made a simple-to-use email app for the iPhone that works wonderfully for most users, and provides a simple solution to my third problem.
In fact, it may be a little too simple. I’ve yet to run into a single iPhone user that realized you could quickly delete emails without actually opening the email simply by swiping your finger across the email in the list. This will summon a Delete button for just that email.
If you check your Gmail account from within the built-in email app, you can set this swiping action to delete or archive emails.
Did you know that you can resize a Mac OS X Finder window when you’re in Column View to fit the widest folder or file name automatically? It’s a simple keyboard shortcut, and can save you a lot of scrolling and manual resizing.
Just hold down the Option key and double click the widget at the bottom of the column divider. I love working in Column View in Mac OS X’s Finder, and this shortcut makes it easier to get a view of full file names.
With more and more designers opting to use laptops for their work, screen real estate becomes more of an issue. One unfortunate side-effect of using Adobe Creative Suite applications like InDesign is the plethora of panels a designer keeps open on the screen in day-to-day work. But Adobe does make efforts to lighten the load of panels you have to keep open for convenience.
Rather than keeping the Color Swatches and Fill/Stroke Panels open all the time, you can keep them closed and use the shortcut icons in the Control Panel across the top of the screen. Hitting the “X” key switches between fill and stroke, a text entry box allows you to adjust stroke weight and style, and drop down icons offer access to your colors in the Color Swatches Panel. All of this fits in a relatively small area in the Control Panel, as seen in the screenshot at the right.
When you have a lot of layers in your document and want to work on the objects on one single layer more easily, activate the Layers panel and hold theOption key down while you click the little eye icon of the layer you want to work on. All other layers in the document will be turned off. When you’re done, simply Option click the same eye icon of the active layer again to make the remaining layers visible.
If you have an existing object and want to resize it by a precise amount, you don’t have to re-create the box, or even do the math yourself to resize it. You can simply have InDesign do the math for you.
For example, if you have a box that measures 1.25 inches wide, but you really want it to be 1 3/8 inches wide, you can simply add +.125 to the existing 1.25 width measurement in the Control Panel input box and hit the Enter key (see image at right). While that seems trivial, the usefulness becomes apparent when you consider you can also use “/3” to divide the width by 3, or use “-” and a number to subtract an amount, or even “*” and a number to multiply the amount.
Often times when you’re working on a text-heavy InDesign document and you want to do a Find & Replace on text. The problem may be that you’re zoomed out to view the whole page, and you’re having a difficult time seeing the text being highlighted in your document when you hit Find Next in the Find dialog box.
The simple solution is to hit ⌘+ to zoom in to the document, and ⌘- to zoom back out if you need to — it works perfectly even when the Find dialog box is active.
If you have a group of objects in your Adobe InDesign and you wish to resize just one of the objects in the group, it can be somewhat of a pain to ungroup the objects, size the one you want, then group them all again. Thankfully, you don’t have to if you use this quick tip.
Here’s how you size one object in a group:
- Select the object you want to resize using Adobe InDesign’s Direct Selection tool (the white arrow tool – second one down in the toolbox)
- Once the single object has been selected and the bounding box appears, switch to the Selection tool (the black arrow tool – the first tool in the toolbox)
- The single object is fully selected and you can size it as you normally would
- De-select the single object and your object group remains intact. That’s it!
You’ll still need to create an Auto Page Number box on your page just as you always have, but prior to InDesign CS5, you had to manually set the starting page number to your document via the Numbering & Section Options contextual menu in the Pages panel. Now, you can set it right at the start of your document creation.
Not a huge feature, but a nice one for those who regularly create auto page numbers that don’t start with the number 1.